The following information was provided by Jeffery B. Marchand of Fairlawn, Ohio. He gave permission to include these documents on the Wayne County, Ohio Online Resource Center.
Letter[edit | edit source]
The following letter was dated 7 October 1915. It was written from Florien Giauque to his cousin, Mrs. Nettie Giauque Brenneman of Abeline, Kansas. The letter was written on letterhead of Giauque & McClure Attorneys at Law located in Cincinnati, OH.
Letter Text[edit | edit source]
October 7, 1915.
Mrs. Nettie Giauque Brenneman, Abeline, Kansas
My dear Cousin,
Whom I have never seen, but hope to, some time; and who must have formed a poor opinion of me for not answering sooner her interesting letter of May 27th last.
I didn't, because it made me want, for reasons mad obvious below, more than ever, even before answering that letter, to set some photographs of; first, the passport of our Uncle by marriage, Frederic Marchand, which passport is very old, worn at its folds almost into seeral pieces, stained with age and mildew; second, the certificate obrained also long ago by or for our "Uncle Charlie" Giauque, your grandfather's and my father's brother, for use outside of Switzerland; third, an affidavit which shows that my father was (among other things) an almost supernaturally strong man physically, and I think well endowed mentally. So were my "Uncle Dave" and all other uncles and aunts, so endowed, I believ.
I have now gotten these photos; and also as good a photo as I could get of a title page in a very old French Bible, printed at Berne, Switzerland, in year 1731, which has been in the Giauque family almost ever since then, family tradition says. From it as her text book, my mother taught me, when about nine years old, and later, to read, write and parse French. I yet well remember when it contained a record of the births, deaths, etc. of many of that family, including the date of birth of my father's father, in the year 1769. I am not sure of the month and day, but am sure of the year.
Later, these records and the title page of the Old Testment and a few other next following pages were torn out of it by some little children who got hold of it. I could therefore get no photo of that page. But the one of the New Testament is still in place and in good condition. A good photo of its left side cannot be made, because the book's binding so bends this page back that it canno be flat before the camera. I state later why I send you these four phoographs. I send you also one of the few printed catalougies I still have as tocertian books. See some commendations in the catalogue. I can lso send you a copy of an Oration I delivered in 1868 in Kenyon College, while a student there; and also of "An address to the Alumni" there, some years later. This one about Switzerland is really the result of my grandmother (mother's mother) so feelingly telling me, her little grandchild sitting on her lap or near her, about William Tell, Arnold of Winkleried, and others, and about the many battles the Swiss fought with the Austians and others in defense of their homes, their liberties, their country, etc., not as aggressors, but as defenders, and therefore probably with an ardor and a thrill not felt by their opponents. See that oration.
I am much interested in the intensity of your fellings, in your wonderful enthusiasm, in the fervor of your pride arrising from what you considered dto be the distinguished positions of some of your and my relateives; in the joy it gave you to get hold of a certian book in your State Library at Topeka that a cousin of yours had written; and the taunt of a little playmate to effect that your grandmother could
not read nor write, and the figurative sack-cloth and ashes you put on and crushing disgrace you felt because of that fact. Not one of your Swiss relatives nor child of theirs was illiterate. Only one of those on your mother's side seems to have been. Even Abraham Lincoln had very many illiterate relatives. Don't worry about that.
All this is partly explained by your account of your father's taking from you, when you were a child, a book of fairy stories you had borrowed, reading it himself till one o'clock that night, then next morning making you return it and forbidding you to read any more of such stories; but in his pity for you (of course like all normal little girls an dboys, you musht have begged him to "Please tell me some stories;" and he told you, (as he or someone no doubt also told you abourt Santa Clause, etc.) fairy stories of his army life, and of your Uncle Marchand's, and your great grandfather's service under and to their "great Napoleon;" of that Marchand as one of Napoleon's Generals, leading an army to Grenoble, fighting there, being Napoleon's valet and companion at St. Helena, when he (Napoleon) died; that you are glad that he (M.) married your grandfather's (my father's) sister; and you in effect mildly protest against the sketch, "and I don't like some of it," because in it I don't mention my grandfather - your great grandfather Giauque - in connection with Napoleon, and you ask "Where is my great grand-dad? Can't I have him any more *** can't I have on ancestor to be proud of? ** and I do so want one! Wasn't he a member of the body-guard? Wasn't he with Napoleon sixteen years? *** I may be a snob with a big S. But I can't help it. I like people of culture, refinement and education - and if they are mine,
it is more than just a glow of happiness. It is life. It is where I live. I wanted a college education" and other well written things, in a state of mental exaltation, that is, perhaps, akin to revelation. I think I can understand that. See certain parts of Oration and last sentence of that Address.
You write "I suppose you think me presuming." Why do you so suppose? And that I may think you are the missing "black sheep." I don't think any thing of the kind. Why do you say that And why were you so utterly cast down by dome one telling you of a relative who could not read nor write.
I think I was too sensitive even when a child. Arn't you? Is not that "Why?"
For instances as to myself. Even when yet a small child, if someone would do or say some slighting, mean little thing, I would feel, but never express, an intensely strong determination so to live and to become such a man as would make that offender wish such a thing had never been said or done, and that he would be glad to have me for a friend or even as an acquaintance.
When I was a boy say sixteen or so years old, a girl of "our set," beautiful, bright, prospectively wealthy for that time and place, (Fredericksburg, Ohio) seemed to get tired of us, her schoolmates and playmates till then, and to seek the society of the next older set. Of course "our set" rather resented that. She, without escort, and I, were, about that time, at some assemblage, I forget what; and I, remembering a then recent talk by our minister's wife to effect that,
when a lady, young or old, had to go home at night alone, it was the duty of a gentleman - and that a boy of good manners and character, is a gentleman, even if a youthful one - to offer to escort such a lone lady to her home; and being also mindful of the fact that this girl's home was some little distance from town on a lonely road, along the foot of a steep, high hill, over a creek and bridge, I offered to see her home. She accepted. Soon, on the way, I told her in effect that I had so offered only because I believed I ought to have done so under the circumstances, and not, because I was seeking to pay what might be unwelcome attentions to her. Her reply was "Flo, you are entirely too sensitive. There isn't a girl in this town what wouldn't be proud to have you for a beau." Surprised? Wasn't I! Though I respected her, I never wanted her as a sweetheart. But I must confess that I have had some little sweethearts about whom I have been both rapturously happy, as well as unutterably and most miserably unhappy. Silly? No!
Now as to passport, etc., and why copies of them wanted. It is a cruel fate that has made of me the undesired, unforseen and regretted means of your disillusioning from the spell of lyour father's "fairy stories" about these two men, your Uncle Marchand and your great grandfather Giauque. But your letter leaves mo no alter4native. Therefore these photographs, translated, to help me out.
The passport and the certificate mentioned above are official documents, duly signed and sealed by proper officials, and give us information that is reliable - not mere traditions handed down orally, nor fairy stories told by a kind father to his story-loving
little girl. They show that our Uncle Marchand was a "cordonier" - a shoemaker - an honorable occupation. I have always understood that at least part of the time he was specially detailed (ask your father what that means) to make or mend shoes for his comrades - an essentially necessary thing to do. I, when a boy and youth, knew him well, often conversed with him and heard him talk. He was in Napoleon's army nine years. But he never was a general, nor did I ever hear of his being a body-guard nor servant to Napoleon. None of his blood is in your veins nor mine. We are not descendants of him nor of his wife, our aunt, my father's sister. As to their children, see Sketch.
I knew my grandfather Giauque thorougly well. He lived with us as a member of the family from my babyhood and earlier till I was about thirteen years old. More than any one else, I was his companion. He talked to me more than to any one else. He, very deaf, always said he could understand me better than he could any one else. He never mentioned Napoleon to me in his life that I now remember, except to speak of being in his army for a short time. He was a Swiss, not a Frenchman, and owed Napoleon no allegiance. It is probable that he and Joseph, his distant relative mentioned in that Sketch, and his son-in-law, Marchand, were impressed (drafted) into Napoleon's army while Switzerland, for awhile, was dominated by him and obliged to furnish some soldiers to his armies. My granfather did not wish to be in Napoleon's service, and got out of it (in Italy) as soon as he could. But that Joseph Giauque was infatuated with him, was in his army thirteen years and returned to him when he escaped from Elba, was
in his Russian Campaign, was at Moscow, was in retreat from Moscow, in battle of Waterloo, a fighter in the ranks. See about him in sketch. He is quite distant relative of yours and mine. I have seen him and talked with him when a little boy. How strange it seems tome, that I have known several of Napoleon's soldiers! He seems to be so far back in point of time. Yet he and my grandfather were born in same year - 1769.
Uncle Charle's certificate states that he was a "Bourgeois," meaning that he was an inhabitant of a "Bourg," - a "burg" in English - a dweller in a town - for probably very many generations, as the Swiss did not move about much in those days at least. What he was in that respect, all our Swiss people were. We are not descendants from "paysans," peasants, who, only a few hundred years ago, were attached to the land and had no rights to leave the land on which they were born. Practically, they belonged to the owner of the land, because they were practically a part of it - like the trees on it; and belonged to the feudal superior like the serfs did in Russia, till say fifty years ago. see allusion to this in that Oration, -"wearing, many of them collars of metal around their necks, as badges of their servitude," - English Yeomen of that time were small land-owners-not a part of some other person's land. Some of them were in the battles of Poitiers and Cresey, mentioned in that Oration. But probably most of these soldiers were feudal vassels. Probably every soldier, including the knights in armor, in the Austrian and other armies there alluded to as fighting the Swiss, were feudal vassels of some degree - and probably therefore did not have the same incentive
to fight with the intensity the Swiss did.
But, my cousin, let us both remember that it is not what we or our ancestors honestly worked at for a living, or what their political rank was, nor what they had or wore, but what we are, that ought to justify some pride in ourselves or our relatives or friends.
Furthermore, our Swiss ancestors and their descedants in America, as well as in their old homes, have succeeded well. In Switzerland our Guillaume-Carrel relatives were, as Uncle Charles and others have told me, largely a professional family, - teachers, etc. - at the top of the ladder, so to sepak. One of them, Uncle Chas. told me, was a noted teacher, known as "Louis le maitre" - "Louis (Carrel) the Teacher." See signature to that passport, "Gauchat, Maire" (Mayor). Not a high office, mayor of Diesse, but the highest office there. Your great grand-mother Giauque was a Gauchat. Don't forget that the boy or man who leads in a little town will lead if he goes to a city. This tendency towards being teachers, etc. is true, possibly to a less extent, among the Giauques. It survives. One of them is a Mormon Bishop, and is Commissioner of Immigration of Utah, and leading member of Board of Education of Salt Lake City's Public Schools. A Miss Giauque was a teacher in Switzerland, and became one later in same City. She found me some way and wrote me a good, long letter. We have corresponded considerably about our kin folks. She was back in Switzerland say two years or so ago, to look up official records, etc. (She may some day publish a Geneological History of the Giauques). She wrote me, among other things, of a Carrel resigning his office as Registrar of
Vital Statistics in Presle, at the age of ninety years!
Passport[edit | edit source]
Passport Translation[edit | edit source]
Translation, by Florian Giauque, of passport of Frederick Marchand.
Uncle to said Giaque by marriage to sister of said Giauque's father.
Left column is as follows:
Controle No. 52
Description of bearer
Aged fifty-one years
Height 5 ft. 6 1/2 inches
Signature of bearer
Right column is as follows:
Canton of Berne
In the Name of the Government
Prefacture of Oerlier, District of Neuville
All officials charged with maintaining
order and safety are requested to permit to
pass freely Mr. Frederick Marchand, shoemaker,
wife Marguerite Sophia, born Giauque, and
their six children, Frederic, aged 13 years,
Jacob (???), aged 11 years, Edward, aged
9 years, Henry, aged 6 years, Charles
Frederick, aged 3 years, and Sophie Julie,
aged nine months; -- a native of Sonvilier,
residing at Prele, going to New York, America,
intending to establish himself there.
Requesting that aid and assistance be given
him in case of need, under offer of reciprocity.
- This passport is effective for one year.
- Delivered over due Legitimation.
- Issued at Neuveville June 8, one thousand
- eight hundred and thirty six (1836)
- The Prefect Neuveville
- Florian Imer
- The Prefect Neuveville
No. 1665 Geschen in Bern
The 9th of June 1836
No. 2938 Seen at Embasy
of France in Switzerland for entering
France going to America
Berne the 10th of June 1836.
The Secretary of the Embassy
A. de Montigay
Seen at General Consulate of
the United States of America
in Switzerland, to betake
himself to said States,
passing through France
- Basle, this 11 of June,
For the Consul General
The Consular Agent
- Nicholas Bernouth
Seen for New York
(Can't read it) Havre
Havre the 14th July, 1836
(?) The commissary of the delegate (?)
- (Can't read signature)
Explanation Letter[edit | edit source]
October 20, 1990
Dear Jeff & Freya,
Attached is some information we received from an
acquaintance who is also a member of Mission Hills and
a couple ith whom we have occasionally played tennis.
Now we find that Bob Geauque is a distant relative.
Meribeth, his wife is a retired nurse and was hosting
the 32nd reunion of her graduating class of nurses.
In preparing for this event, she rummaged thruogh an
old chest containing family memorabilia and came
across the original Passport of Friederich Marchand,
as well as an english translation thereof. Also there
is a page headed "Sketch of Some Early Swiss Settlers"
which somehow came into their hands many years ago.
As you can see, Friederick Marchand (Frederick) came
to the USA on June 8, 1836 along with his wife,
children, the Geauque and the Guillaume families who
all came from near Bern, Switzerland and were related
One of Frederick's children, Jacob was 11 years old at
the time they settled in Holmes County, Ohio and he is
buried in the Marchand family plot in the Wooster
cemetary along with John Marchand, his son and father
of Walter March (Pop), your grandfather.
The reason we are certain the enclosed refers to our
family is because it says that Jacob was the editor
and owner of the Wayne County Democrat which Pop often
referred to since his father, John, was also still
connected with this newspaper.
We have the original Passport which we will put in the
It just seems like such an incredicle coincidence
since the Geauques, although only casual acquanances,
recalled that I was from Ohio and asked if we knew
where Holmes County was did we have any relatives
We will include this information in the Grandfather
We hope you and the children are well and having a good time.
Dad and Susan